Document Type : Regular articles

Authors

1 Moshi Co-operative University (MoCU), P.O. Box 474, Sokoine Road, Moshi, Tanzania.

2 Center for the Study of African Economies, Lilongwe, Malawi

Abstract

The paper sought to investigate the effect of simultaneous use of radio- and mobile phone- based agricultural market information systems on smallholder farmers’ access to information focusing on prices of agricultural inputs and commodities. A multivariate probit model was estimated to gauge potential use of each information system by farmers to access information on prices of agricultural inputs and commodities. Results reveals limited use of mobile phones to jointly access input and commodity prices as the devices were mainly for accessing information on commodity prices. The cost of using mobile phones was the dominant factor underlying the low use of mobile phones to access information on commodity prices. The cost of use along with farmers’ access to extension and group membership were the major factors underlying the use of radio to access price information. Results predicted higher prospect for smallholder farmers to use radio- than mobile phone-based information system to access information on agricultural inputs and commodities. Endeavors to promote farmers access to markets information should focus on creating synergies with extension services and local initiatives linking farmers through groups. Future research on the subject matter should attempt to accommodate more means of acquiring market information including extension agents and explanatory variables to enhance robustness of the adopted model or its variants.

Keywords

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